Recently, tribomicroplasma has been discovered around sliding contacts. This must be the unknown high energetic state that has been sought after for many years as the source of tribochemical reaction. On the other hand, the mechanism of tribochemical decomposition of the perfluoropolyether (PFPE) fluid, Z-dol, used as hard disk drive lubricant, is not fully explained by traditional reaction mechanisms. A mixture of volatile decomposition products evolved from lubricated sliding contacts is collected by a sampling tube packed with an adsorbent and separated by gas chromatography (GC) into individual components, the chemical structures of which are determined by a Quadra pole mass spectrometer (Q-MS). The volatile products at the sliding contact coincided completely with that of the gas-discharge plasma decomposition product. These results verify that PFPE fluid is decomposed by triboplasma. This verification opens a new mechanism of tribomicroplasma reaction in the field of tribochemistry.

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